The Saudis have just spent £300 million to buy Newcastle United. Their ambition is to turn that club into a football powerhouse.
No matter how skin-crawling it is to think of a working class club in a working class city owned by such people, there is no denying this; they will transform a team which has struggled in the bottom half of the league for years.
People who spend that kind of money demand to be taken seriously.
They will settle for nothing less than the very best they can get.
The papers would have you believe that Steven Gerrard, a manager who has won exactly one trophy out of nine in Scotland is at the top of their list.
The idea is laughable. The stories today are laughable.
So too are the ones about Eddie Howe.
These people can, and will, hire the finest people they can find in the football business.
Rumours suggest that the next manager will most likely be Antonio Conte, a manager with four Serie A titles and an English Premier League crown.
He is the calibre of man a club run by oil sheiks will look at. The other names being put about south of the border are pitiful; they are the sort the previous Newcastle board might have gone for. Gerrard might have made that list.
It’s as if people have grasped the fact of the Newcastle takeover but not the reality of it. People such as this will not take a punt on a third rate choice.
They will see their first managerial appointment as a statement of intent.
What kind of message would it send if they went for a Gerrard or a Howe or a Lampard or one of the other uninspiring candidates?
And whilst they will have money to spend – unlimited amounts of money – they aren’t going to just squander it by bringing in someone who’ll sign 30 players in two years. The whole idea that these people would even consider Gerrard is barmy, just as barmy as the idea that he will ever be at Anfield, a fantasy people persist in pushing although it’s not remotely likely.
Gerrard is not a good coach. Exceptional circumstances, the spending of vast sums of money and the collapse of Celtic last season have presented him as someone who knows more than he does. His record doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
The Newcastle hierarchy will certainly have done their due diligence.
These are ruthless men who are used to getting what they want.
Why in God’s name would they want him?